John McWhorter & Michael Behe

So a friend of mine started IMing me about how crazy the John McWhorter & Michael Behe diavlog was on I was a bit surprised since there is no such diavlog, either on the website, nor in their podcasts (which is where I usually am made to be aware of them). Well, here's the story:

John McWhorter feels, with regret, that this interview represents neither himself, Professor Behe, nor Bloggingheads usefully, takes full responsibility for same, and has asked that it be taken down from the site. He apologizes to all who found its airing objectionable.

Beliefnet's resident Creationist, David Klinghoffer is accusing of "Stalinism". As it is, I think the explanation about McWhorter's second thoughts are probably accurate, this wasn't on "Science Saturday" so the objections made against Paul Nelson appearing are not applicable.

But the video is downloadable at various websites, and so I'm watching it right now. It's a little shocking to observe John McWhorter being irrationally exuberant at being able to talk to Michael Behe, the author of The Edge of Evolution. Glenn Loury & John McWhorter often joke about being "the black guys" on, with a slight sense of irritation about the role they've been boxed into. McWhorter does not show evidence here of being able to break out of that box in the near future after this performance.

Some Creationists are complaining that McWhorter had the video withdrawn because he feared career reprecussions. I doubt that, his bread is buttered by The Manhattan Institute, which is a conservative think thank. Though most elite conservatives are not Creationist, there is no shame in Creationism in the modern American conservative movement. Rather, I suspect the pressure was the more informal one of peer group horror which likely came in via email.

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Oh my god. If you are a bioconservative this is just like a hot fudge sundae.…

Reminds me of the African Americans who voted against Prop 8 in California. Talk about a breakdown in the left-wing coalition.

This kind of link pushes in your average lefty's face the fact that blacks *are* actually socially conservative. So for a biocon it's fun to see them squirm -- and to see McWhorter make a fool out of himself.

The interesting quote for me was Behe's claim, near the end of this piece, that his future career intention is to divide biological items into categories of designed and non-designed.
How will he manage that?
I've always found that the question ID proponents hate the most is 'how can you tell if something is not designed?'
That something IS designed is simple for them - it looks designed, therefore it is designed. The trouble is that once you admit the existence of a powerful designer then you admit the possibility of a designer with the ability to design things with a purpose of which you are unaware.
In that case everything could be designed for a purpose and it is impossible to have a sound category of 'non-designed'.

What is a "bioconservative"? Is that a new word for creationist? Never heard the term before.

Is diavlog a new term or this a typo? I f it is a new term for video dialog, I don't like it. We don't have a diatlog on the telephone, just because it is video it does not need a new word.

Heather Mac Donald is also at the Manhattan Institute.

I've always greatly preferred Loury to McWhorter.

So by your logic, anytime you post something trite or stupid this proves it is your skin tone that is responsible for your Sb gig, razib?

By DrugMonkey (not verified) on 28 Aug 2009 #permalink

A biocon is definitely not a creationist. They read Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire, Steve Pinker, Mencius Moldbug, Charles Murray, etc. HBD believers basically, the people that the left calls "racists" or "sexists".

drugmonkey motherfucker, what the hell do you know about logic? fuck you. and don't comment on my blog. i don't engage lying dishonest stalinist assholes like you (yes dear readers, there is a very real reason i refer to drugmonkey as a stalinist; he's one who doesn't mind breaking a few eggs to make his omelette ).

I don't agree with Glenn Loury's basic political orientation ( he's progressive ) but I've always found him pretty interesting, measured, thoughtful, etc. Much, much more so than McWhorter, whose books mostly disappointed me when i read them. Loury's probably much smarter, given his academic background ( math undergrad and MIT PHD in econ ). Has he done anything that would keep him in the "black commentator on black issues" role ?
McWhorter seems really weak when it comes to hard sciences and statistics : his book "winning the race" is full of anecdotes , stories from TV and novels and pretty short on actual data, from what i remember. I found it irritating.

By ogunsiron (not verified) on 28 Aug 2009 #permalink

re: loury vs. mcwhorter, loury is the one who brought up the irritation with being black guys who talk about black issues first (though mcwhorter now refers to it as well as a background assumption), so it probably chafes at him more. i know the general outline of their discussion of this topic because i've listened to every one of their diavlogs, likely unlike some stalinist douchebags.

What about the kind of bioconservative that is reluctant to apply the science of medicine and biotechnology in ways that might be socially disruptive. I think the anti-biotech definition is more widely used.

By Human Flesh (not verified) on 29 Aug 2009 #permalink